Hebrews 10:16-25

            By the wounds of Jesus Christ we are healed of the stench and power of sin.  There is forgiveness.  And where forgiveness exists and is the controlling existential reality, there is no longer any offering for sin.  In other words, Jesus has offered a once-for-all sacrifice for sin.  Therefore, there is no need whatsoever for us to provide something that will take care of and deal with our foul and odious sin; Jesus has already done it.
             Good Friday is the most bittersweet day in the Christian Year.  It is bitter because they have tortured and crucified my Lord.  It is sweet because the Lord Jesus accomplished what he set out to do:  opened the way back to God through a new and living way.
             So, then, Jesus did not go through the agony of the cross just so that no one need offer the blood of bulls and goats as a sacrifice anymore.  No, he did it all to strike a death blow to the power of sin so that we could take advantage of this new spiritual reality.  We now can draw near to God without any obstacle.  We now can persevere and hold fast to our bold confession of Christ.  We now can effectively spur one another on toward good deeds, reminding each other of the tremendous privilege we have of sharing in Christ and his finished work.
             Faith, hope, and love are our business as Christians.  Good Friday was the means by which we are now able to live into these three great actions of the Christian life.  All that we do, all that we say, and all that we plan are to center fully around the person and work of Jesus using these incredible tools of faith, hope, and love.  Let us consider and reflect deeply on our new reality made possible on this most holy day.
             Merciful God, as darkness covers the land today I confess along with the Roman centurion:  surely Jesus is the Son of God.  How can I say thanks for the things you have done for me?  It is a small thing for me to dedicate myself completely to faith, hope, and love.  These three actions I endeavor to live into as a means of gratitude for your great sacrifice, Lord Jesus.  Amen.

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